Saturday 25 January 2014 - kick off 3.00pm
||Mellor, Simpson (Brown 64), Bowman, Preece, Gallinagh, Adelsbury, Allen, Connolly, Low (Pratt 57), Watkins, Burnell (Stearn 57). subs not used: Wilson, Keats.
|man of the match:
||Connolly (29), Allen (68)
||Allen (42), Gallinagh (56), Preece (80)
|league position: 10th
||next match: Bish Stortford (H)
Report taken from
Bath City went down to a late winner from Eastbourne Borough substitute Darren Lok as they were made to pay for a trio of defensive lapses at a windy Priory Lane.
Midfielders Adam Connolly and Chris Allen both scored equalisers for the away side, who were pushing hard for a winner with the elements in their favour when Lok delivered the decisive blow.
City slipped to tenth spot in the Skrill South table as a result of a defeat that extended their winless run to six matches, although they remain only two points adrift of the play-off places.
Scott Wilson arrived from Gloucester City on the eve of the game and was named among the substitutes along with Cityís two leading goalscorers this term, Dave Pratt and Ross Stearn, as Andy Watkins and Josh Low were tasked with leading the visitorsí line.
Eastbourne, with the howling wind behind them, made the better start and former City loanee Chris Shephard had an effort blocked by Mark Preece inside the first minute.
Sekani Simpson then recovered well to deny Stacy Long after Rossí goal kick saw him steal a march on the back line and the City defender was again on hand to mop up the danger when Eastbourne debutant Elvis Hammondís effort beat Mellor and bounced towards the net.
Cityís first chance arrived on ten minutes when Allen robbed Long on the edge of the visitorsí box following an Eastbourne corner. He advanced upfield and fed Watkins but the striker had no support and his low centre was cleared.
Ross then made a double save to first parry Lowís 25-yard effort and then Allenís attempt on the follow-up.
It was Eastbourne who broke the deadlock midway through the half, however, when Charlie Gormanís hopeful ball from the back caught City napping and Long raced clear in the left channel before lifting it over the advancing Mellor and into the far corner of the net.
Eastbourne looked to turn the screw and the tricky Shephard had another shot blocked before a loud penalty appeal for handball was rejected by referee Mr Daly.
But the home crowd were stunned into silence just before the half hour when Eastbourne failed to properly clear their lines and Connolly pounced, sending a low first-time drive past Ross from 20 yards before the keeper had time to move to register his first goal of the season.
Eastbourne skipper Ian Simpemba left his station at the heart of the defence to thump a long-range effort goalwards but Mellor was able to parry it away. The City number one was also equal to another Shephard shot before the break, while Lewis Tallack could only blaze wide after being found in space on the right by the same player.
With the wind clearly acting as an extra man, City appeared to be in a good position as they went in at half-time all square and were the first to threaten after the break as Connolly intelligently played in Watkins and his close-range effort was kept out at his near post by Ross.
But they fell behind for a second time on 55 minutes when Shephardís deft ball found Hammond in acres of space inside the City box and the former Fulham and Leicester striker made no mistake with a cool chip over the stranded Mellor.
Captain Andy Gallinagh collected a yellow card for a foul seconds later and the response of the City management team was to throw on Pratt and Stearn for Low and defender Joe Burnell with more than half an hour to go.
They were forced into a third change on 64 minutes when Simpson limped off to be replaced by Aaron Brown.
Lok also entered the fray in place of goalscorer Hammond and soon threaded the ball through for Shephard, who looked odds-on to score but was thwarted by an alert Mellor.
His save looked even more important a minute later as Watkins raced to the byline on the left with Eastbourne appealing for an infringement. The striker played the ball into the six-yard box and Allen arrived on cue to crash it home via the underside of the crossbar.
Watkins was again involved as one-two on the other flank led to another awkward moment for the home defence. Pratt and then Allen both attempted to force the ball over the line before it finally went behind off the outside of Rossí near post.
With Ross struggling to clear his own 18-yard box with goal kicks that held up in the wind and blew back towards him, City were in the ascendancy. City failed to make the most of some promising positions, however, with Pratt sending a vicious drive wide of the target and Watkins flashing an angled effort across the face of goal.
But the away side were outnumbered at the back as they committed men forward in search of a third goal and Eastbourne seized their opportunity, Lok curling home the winner from the edge of the box after being set up by Simon Johnson.
Five minutes of stoppage time gave City hope but they were unable to draw level again, with Stearn seeing a 30-yard free-kick blocked and Connolly firing the rebound wide.